When is it safe to return to gaming after a concussion?

Newswise – Palo Alto, CA – Researchers at Palo Alto University (PAU) Behavioral Research and Assessment in Neuropsychology (BRAIN) Labcompile data to help families and sports organizations assess when it is safe for athletes to play again after a concussion.

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, the team at BRAIN Lab and Rayna HirstPhD, who directs the university’s neuropsychology program, shares some important tips for parents of student athletes.

  1. Beyond soccer

Be aware that brain injuries can occur in any sport, not just football. A Study 2020 showed that the most common sports for concussions were soccer, hockey, and soccer, but concussions also occur in other sports such as gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball, and rugby.

  1. know the symptoms

Concussions can cause a range of symptoms that affect both cognitive and executive functioning. Common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Appearing dazed or confused
  • dizziness or clumsiness
  • Nausea or vomiting (for unexplained reasons)
  • Forget what happened before and/or after the event
  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • unconsciousness (even for a moment)
  1. recovery time

If a student-athlete had a concussion, Dr. Hirst on the importance of having enough recovery time before playing again. A suggests that it can take a high school athlete up to 30 days to recover from a concussion before playing again, and even longer for about 10 percent of these athletes.

  1. Additional risk factors

It is important to be aware of additional risk factors that a student-athlete might have. For example a Study 2022 shows that children with ADHD are up to twice as likely to have a concussion, suggesting that weaknesses in attention or executive function may increase the risk of concussion. Concussion history and accident proneness can also be predictors of future concussions.

Palo Alto University Sports Concussion Study

At Palo Alto University, Dr. Hirst conducted a sports concussion study to help establish cognitive baseline scores for individual student athletes participating in sports at increased risk of concussion. The study, conducted by graduate students, plays an important role in advancing effective concussion treatment and return-to-game protocols nationwide by providing individualized baseline testing for a full range of organized sports, including soccer, hockey, soccer, gymnastics , cheerleading, provides , basketball and rugby.

It’s important to know the cognitive baselines for a student-athlete before they have a concussion, because every athlete recovers at different rates, meaning when it’s safe for them to play again will be different . The Sport Concussion Study is unique in that it provides data for younger students, ages eight to 16, while most programs across the country focus on high school and collegiate athletes.

Palo Alto University (PAU), a private, nonprofit university located in the heart of Northern California’s Silicon Valley, is dedicated to addressing pressing and emerging problems in the fields of psychology and counseling that meet the needs of today’s diverse society. An institution serving minorities, PAU offers undergraduate and graduate programs led by faculty that make significant contributions in their fields. Online, hybrid and residential program options are available. PAU was founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology and re-established as Palo Alto University in August 2009. PAU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The doctoral programs of the PAU are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and his Masters in Counseling Programs from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Allied Educational Programs (CACREP).

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